Saturday, February 10, 2007

Center for Strategic and International Studies Speech

Here is the text of Governor Richardson's speech to the Center for Strategic and Interational Studies on February 8, in which Richardson outlines his call for a new realism in American foreign policy.

In the speech, Governor Richardson outlines New Realism in 7 steps:
So this new realist vision for re-launching American leadership in the 21st century will entail several steps, which I will now outline.

Number one: First and foremost, we must repair our alliances. This means restoring respect and appreciation for our allies all over the world, in Europe and Latin America and Asia and Africa, but also those democratic values with unite us.

Number two: We must renew our commitment to international law and multilateral cooperation. This means expanding the United Nations Security Council to reflect international realities. And it means ethical reform at the U.N. so that this vital institution can meet the challenges of the 21st century. It means more third world debt relief and a World Bank focus on poverty reduction. It means shifting aid from loans to grants for the poorest countries. It means reviving the Doha round of trade talks and seeking trade agreements which seriously address wage disparities, worker rights, and the environment. It means more resources for the IMF so that it can protect the international economy from financial panic and shock. And it means respecting the Geneva Convention and joining the International Criminal Court.

Number three: The United States also must be the leader, not the laggard, in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You saw that startling scientific report that basically said it’s manmade causes that have brought us this crisis. We must join the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, and then go well beyond it; make up for lost time. We must lead the world also on energy security and national security with a man-on-themoon effort, not little energy bills here and there, to improve efficiency and commercialize clean alternative technologies. We must cut our fossil fuel consumption dramatically and rapidly and get others like China and India to follow us in a sustainable energy future, with diplomacy.

Number four: We need to stop treating diplomatic engagement with others like a reward for good behavior. The Bush administration’s refusal to engage bad regimes has only encouraged and strengthened the most paranoid and hard-line tendencies. The futility of this policy is most tragically obvious in regard to Iran and North Korea, who responded to Washington snubs and threats with intensification of their nuclear program. And we should be talking to Syria too about Hezbollah and a Middle East peace – American leadership talking even with regimes we don’t like so that we can show them the real costs and benefits that will result from their choices. Sometimes diplomacy demands that you talk tough, but to do that, you have to at least be talking. We also need to engage Russia and China more effectively, more strategically and systematically than we have as we encourage them to work with us to build a stable, peaceful world.

Number five: We need to focus on the real security threats from which Iraq has so dangerously diverted our attention. Our obsession with Iraq has cost us to lose focus on the real threats to this country. This means doing the hard work to build strong coalitions to fight terrorists and to stop nuclear proliferation. Most urgently, we need to lock down all of the world’s fissionable material quickly before terrorists get their hands on a nuclear bomb. And to accomplish this, we should increase funds and commitment to the Nunn-Lugar program to secure former Soviet nuclear weapons, and we must work aggressively with our Pakistani allies to make sure that no matter what happens in the future, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal cannot fall into the hands of jihadists.

Number six: The United States also needs to start paying attention to the Americas, to Latin America, our own backyard. The legal trafficking of drugs and persons across the Mexican border threatens America’s national security, so we need better border security and comprehensive immigration reform – reform that provides for a guest worker program with a realistic and earned path to legalization for the 12 million undocumented workers that are in the United States.

Number seven: America needs to lead the global fight against poverty, which is the basis of so much violence. We must promote equitable trade agreements, create more jobs in all countries, and through our example and our diplomacy, we must encourage all wealthy countries to honor their U.N. Millennium Goals commitment. A commission on implementation of sustainable development goals, composed of world leaders and prominent experts should be created to recommend ways of meeting these Millennium commitments.

America needs to lead donors on debt relief, shifting aid from loans to grants, and a greater focus on primary health care and affordable vaccines. We should pressure pharmaceutical companies to allow expanded use of generic drugs, and we should stimulate public/private partnerships to reduce costs and enhance access to anti-malarial drugs and bed nets. Most importantly, America should spearhead a Marshall plan for the Middle East and North Africa. For a small fraction of the cost of the Iraq war, which has made us so many enemies, we could make many friends.
Not that there are domestic problems that are less important, but right now American foreign policy is among the biggest problems afflicting our country. As of today, Bill Richardson is the only presidential candidate outlining a complete foreign policy vision, and not just his plans for Iraq. Second, he's the only candidate who actually has he experience to take up the challenge of this enormous problem and restore America's standing in the world community.

George W. Bush has proven over and over again that there is no substitute for foreign policy experience. In 2008, the choice is simple: Bill Richardson for President.

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